Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Surge Or Not To Surge?

Still more controversial studies on global warming increasing hurricanes.
A surge in major Atlantic hurricanes over the last decade -- often cited as evidence of increasing global warming -- may not be a surge at all but a return to normal storm patterns, according to a new study.

Using nearly three centuries of hurricane history recorded in organic storm debris encased in coral reefs, researchers found that the frequency of major hurricanes today was about the same as it was during extended periods from the mid-1700s to the mid-1900s.

"There were periods that were just as active as we see now," said study coauthor Terrence Quinn, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Texas at Austin.

At the same time, the researchers found that the number of major hurricanes from the late 1960s to the early 1990s -- a period that our present cycle is often compared to -- was unusually quiet for storms.

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